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Republicans block meningitis, chickenpox vaccine mandates

Wisconsin DHS announced mandates for students last month

The sun shines on the Wisconsin State Capitol
The Wisconsin State Capitol on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Madison, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

Wisconsin Republicans have blocked Gov. Tony Evers’ plan to mandate students get vaccinated against meningitis and obtain a doctor’s note to avoid a chickenpox shot.

Officials with the state health department, an Evers Cabinet agency, announced last month that beginning this fall students entering seventh grade must get a meningitis shot and 12th graders get a booster shot.

The agency also announced that parents will need to provide evidence of infection from a health care provider to secure an exemption from a chickenpox shot.

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Republicans say the requirements are too burdensome. The Legislature’s GOP-controlled rules committee voted 6-4 on Thursday to block the changes.

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